A WOMAN who underwent life-saving surgery in Spain has spoken from the comfort of her own home about the impact the last few weeks has had on her life.

Fund-raising efforts saw Carrie Beckwith-Fellows, who suffers from Ehlers-danlos syndrome – a rare disorder which effects connective tissues – receive a total of £100,000 to pay for the surgery in Barcelona to fuse her spine, which has resulted in a remarkable improvement in her speech and memory.

Speaking this week from her home in Wark, Carrie said: “It’s emotional because I didn’t expect to get through it all. Before I had the surgery, the doctor said I would feel paralysed, and I did, but this time I remembered what he had said and instantly knew that was a big milestone.

“I was able to talk to my wife Lisa straight away, and that was the first time I was able to do that for about two months without a speech device.”

Carrie spent six weeks in Barcelona, which included an extensive period of recovery time before being well enough to travel back home to Tynedale.

She explained: “Day five after the operation was a big turning point as I was able to eat and fully digest food, whereas previously I was vomiting and had constant pains.”

Lisa was with her in the hospital throughout the whole process and was able to be with her during the surgery.

“I couldn’t sing the praises of the doctors and all the other staff any more,” said Lisa.

“They were very honest and clear with their procedures, which included informing us of any complications during the surgery.”

Due to the fact that the NHS don’t treat Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Carrie travelled to Barcelona for the specialist surgery. And the journey was complicated by the fact that Carrie’s condition had deteriorated to the point where she was unable to reach Barcelona by plane.

“The drive was really hard. Every tiny bump was excruciating and travelling for that length of time is uncomfortable regardless,” Carrie said. “But, the people who drove us there were as important as the donators and we can’t thank them enough.”

Carrie is now keen to use her experience to help out others. “I am more than happy to help people who are going through similar situations to me,” she said.

“When you go through something like this, you’re taking on the responsibility to raise awareness with the platform you have.”

For now, Carrie is still focusing her recovery. She added: “I’m trying to not get carried away, I need to be patient, enjoy life and be grateful I can do everyday activities again.

“If we hadn’t have got there when we did, I didn’t think we’d have been able to get the level of recovery I have.

“Thank you to everyone who donated or helped out, it’s miraculous to get all this way because the last six months have been horrendous. Hopefully now we can move on and build a future.”